Pens@Wings GDT 12/12/05 7:30PM
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12-13-2005, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Originally Posted by
You guys make it sound like he is some sort of liability out there. Like I said above...stop being so damn hard to please.
Lidstrom _is_ becoming less of an asset and more of a liability though. And like sarcastro indicated the cause is skill erosion. I don't point out the stick penalties & instances where lack of speed leads to a scoring chance for the other team as "mistakes" by Lidstrom. It's not Nick making an error in judgement. Guys are getting around Nick because they are much better skaters than he is, not because they're out-smarting him.
I'm not trying to overstate the speed issue, but it is real. Lidstrom used to be an average NHL skater imo, maybe slightly above average as far as defensemen go. He's not anymore, he's below average. Maybe the way the game is being called now is exposing that more and he's not really that much slower. I'm not buying that, but it's possible I guess. Either way, the net effect is the same - Nick is not the shut-down defender he was before. I'm sure he's adapted as good as he possibly can, and it's true he's done a better job adjusting than his peers, but he's still lost enough to not be considered elite anymore.
Now, I don't want to send him off the the glue factory. What I do want is for Nick to follow Stevie's example. Take a big paycut and accept a lesser role. Make room for the Wings to go after a stud to take over the reins. There's no double standard at all. I believe Nick can still play NHL level hockey, of course he can. But he's fallen off quite a bit from what he was, and presumably will continue the descent.
Ideally Nick will get a one year contract for a reasonable sum of money, around 3M. I would really, really hesitate to give a multi-year contract unless it's for less than that per year. Just like it's obvious this is Yzerman's last year, it will be the same with Lidstrom when his time comes. That's why I really think you go one year at a time.
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